My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Ruth Valley Missing by Amber West is a delicious cozy mystery. I started reading it expecting a
paranormal account of a small town engaged in human sacrifice. Amber West surprised me when her
story turned out to be a small town murder mystery.
Jameson Quinn wakes up in a New York emergency room suffering a very mild concussion because of
her head coming in hard contact with a wall during an art gallery opening she attended with her self
absorbed boyfriend, Dylan. Dylan doesn’t know she was injured, showing up at her apartment
after she’s discharged from the hospital. Jameson (James to all her friends, except Dylan) is an
obnoxious ass to her, and she throws him out of her apartment. A few days later, she deices to move
to Ruth Valley, North Carolina, to make a new start, and to get beyond Dylan.
As James settles into her new rental house (with the town’s sheriff as her landlord) James goes about
trying to fit in. That’s when Ruth Valley’s odd ball citizens lead James into a terrifying mystery, and the
Something’s not right Ruth Valley, people are missing for no apparent reason, so Jamison (James)
Quinn gets herself entangled in a terrifying mystery. She’s determined to discover what’s going on,
and who’s responsible. She doesn’t know who to trust: Creepy Father Mike (who James knows is
creepy as they come, but that’s only because he’s creepy), ruggedly handsome manly man Sheriff Jack
(Definitely not creepy in James’s book. Kinda hot, really.), or the frightening gaggle is nuns lead by
Sister Marjorie (Definitely untrustworthy. Did I mention terrifyingly creepy?).
The Ruth Valley Missing is an entertainingly quick read. The 50 chapters are short and to the point. I
felt the dialogue flowed smoothly for the most part (Not even Michener or Assimov were what they were
cracked up to be when it came to dialogue.), and moved the story along quickly. Amber West does a
fantastic job of casting suspicion on suspicious characters, and deflecting it from characters you
should be on your list of usual suspects. All the clues are there for the reader to figure out.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Ruth Valley Missing. Amber West weaves a tale with deliciously screwball
characters, evil doers (troublingly obvious, and even more troublingly not-so-obvious) and angels in
creepy clothing. I give it 5 stars.